Technology is such a hot debate in early education. Some want everything in their classrooms to be digital when there are others that do not want to see any of it in the classroom. I think that they are both right. There are many things that technology can do for the early childhood classroom, but too much of it or the wrong things can be detrimental to the development and the educational environment of the child. Technology and interactive media are tools that can be an essential learning tool when they are used intentionally within a framework of developmentally appropriate aspects. When we show children the environment of for jungle animals on the internet or what a skeleton looks like then yes we are appropriately utilizing these tools. When we are using it to play YouTube dance videos that are inappropriate, then we are wasting precious time that we could be teaching the children through hands-on activities. Allow children to play video games for long periods with no educational purpose we are not appropriately utilizing technology
The definition from NAEYC (2012) of Interactive media refers to digital and analog materials, including software programs, applications (apps), broadcast and streaming media, some children’s television programming, e-books, the Internet, and other forms of content designed to facilitate active and creative use by young children and to encourage social engagement with other children and adults. Interactive media refers to digital and analog materials, including software programs, applications (apps), broadcast and streaming media, some children’s television programming, e-books, the Internet, and other forms of content designed to facilitate active and creative use by young children and to encourage social engagement with other children and adults.
I feel that it is essential to put the definition into this post because there is always the question of what technology or interactive media is. I see as a professional in the field so many teachers that think that all they should utilize is technology and this is not the case. I want you to set back and think about the way that you learn. Go ahead. It’s ok, We all learn, but a lot of us learn by being hands on. We have to be able to use the materials and see how they work to be able to look at how we use those tools right. Well, children are the same way. Yes, Technology is a significant aspect of our world, but we also have to think about the world around us. There are so many other things that children learn from than just technology. We as educators have to provide3 those opportunities for them to be able to learn and without the right materials and the right facilitation learning opportunities are lost, and children are not getting the experiences that they need.
Where there are so many different opinions on technology, I thought that it would be best to one bring the NAEYC position statement to light as well as go by precisely what ECERS-3 utilizes since this is what we use in the QRIS System.
NAEYC would see technology as an essential part of children’s everyday life especially if it used to enhance and educational opportunity. NAEYC(2012) says The prevalence of electronic media in the lives of young children means that they are spending an increasing number of hours per week in front of an engaged with screens of all kinds, including televisions, computers, smartphones, tablets, handheld game devices, and game consoles (NAEYC, 2012). The distinction among the tools, the content, and the user experience has been blurred by multitouch screens and movement-activated technologies that detect and respond to the child’s movements.
1. With guidance, these various technology tools can be harnessed for learning and development; without supervision, usage can be inappropriate and/or interfere with education and development.
2. NAEYC recommend that child care settings limit screen time (including television, videos, digital media, video games, mobile media, cell phones, and the Internet) for preschoolers (age 2 through 5) to fewer than 30 minutes per day for children in half-day programs or less than one hour per day for those in full-day programs.
3. NAEYC discourage any amount or type of screen media and screen time for children under two years of age.
4. Technology needs to be utilized to enhance learning opportunities and should be an interactive activity with the teacher and the children. It should not be an isolated tool that is to occupy children.
5. ECERS-3 goes on to only allow children 15 minutes on technology during the observation and will time you to see if you are keeping up with the amount of time you are allowing them on the tools.
6. Also, they look to see if the materials are appropriate and if you interact with the children while it is used.
7. Add a timer to this area and write the children’s name on a list so that you know who has had a turn and who has not. Make sure that everyone has access to the materials and not just specific groups during your day.
8. Be a part of the learning opportunities. Help give prompts to answer questions or make it where it has to do with the theme of the week and have conversations about it.
9. Remember that technology is not a babysitter or the one who is supposed to be occupying children. That is the position of the teacher. Allow them free play time and intertwine technology within the experiences so that way they can connect the learning opportunities.